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Composer perfomer Andean music
    Land of winds > Performers > Composers and performers | Issue 08 (Nov.-Dec.2011)
    By Edgardo Civallero | Sara Plaza

Alejandro Cámara

Alejandro Cámara

Alejandro Cámara Medrano was born in Quillacollo (Cochabamba, Bolivia) in 1950. A self-taught musician, he first started as professional charango player in 1961, and has since concentrated his career as concertist. Besides his skill as charango player, Cámara’s unique sound and talent have won him acclaim and numerous awards inside his country and abroad. At the Segundo Congreso de Charanguistas (Second Charango-players Congress) held by the Sociedad Boliviana del Charango (1997) he was appointed as Maestro del Charango (Master of the Charango). As soloist, Cámara has toured and given concerts in many countries, and recorded several albums including “Alejandro Cámara” (1986), “Lo mejor” (1994), “Charango iridiscente” (1995), “Contrapuntos” (1996), “Charango. The art of Alejandro Cámara” (1997), “Illimani” (2002) and “Concierto desde Japón” (2007).

In 1981 he created the “Cámara Music School” in Cochabamba, and has founded various musical ensembles such as Quinteto Cámara (1975), Grupo Yareta (1984), Grupo Semilla (1990), Grupo Sayubú (1997) and Dúo Retoños (1997). With them he has played traditional Bolivian folk music in general and that of the Quechua communities in particular (tonadas, zapateos, salaques, tinkus, huaynos potosinos).

Alongside Grupo Sayubú he launched “Niño travieso” (1998), “Sueños” (1998) and “Tradiciones carnavaleras” (2002). And in his career with Grupo Semilla he has released “Alejandro Cámara y el grupo Semilla” (1991), “Alma herida” (1992), “Corazón de estaño” (1994), “Pensando en ti” (1996), “Chuspilita” (1998), “Rosita” (2005), “Ch’utillos” (2008), “El ch’iti Alejito” (2009), “Desde el corazón de Bolivia” (2010) and “Con más fuerza que nunca” (2011).

In addition, Cámara has published several charango handbooks and has composed a good number of pieces, including “Mosquita muerta”, “Corazón de estaño”, “El tunante”, “Atrapadorita”, “Chayanteña”, “Pata pollerita”, “Soltero libre” and “Chay calle” (most of them written in Quechua language with picaresque lyrics) , which have been performed and recorded by various contemporary Andean music groups.

Alejandro Cámara is one of the great composers and performers of traditional Bolivian folk. His songs remain respectful to tradition while at the same time incorporating excellent arrangements, allowing listeners to enjoy the track in much the same way as when the charango accompanies the copla singer and bowls of chicha are emptied.

Grupo Semilla. Official website.
Alejandro Cámara’s resume.
Link Alejandro Cámara and Grupo Semilla’s partial discography [].

Video 01. “Mi charango”.
Video 02. “Chay calle”.
Video 03. “Tunante”.
Video 04. “Chayanteñita”.
Video 05. “Soltero libre”.
Video 06. “Pata pollerita”.
Video 07. “Aycha sua”.
Video 08. “Satukita”.
Video 09. “Mal pagadora”.
Video 10. “Volveré”.

Picture A.

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